DailyTech reports that EPA's new 2008 Fuel Economy Rating guidelines bring the advertised fuel economy ratings closer to reality:
The new testing methodology takes into account higher freeway speeds, more aggressive driving behavior, A/C usage and the effects of traffic jams on fuel economy. The EPA testing procedures were last updated back in 1984.
Hybrids take the biggest hit with the new 2008 model year EPA changes. The Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid drop from 60/51 (city/highway), 40/38 and 49/55 to 48/45, 33/34 and 40/45 respectively. That's a pretty tough pill to swallow for potential hybrid buyers.
Conventional gasoline vehicles can't escape the wrath of the EPA either with the new 2008 guidelines. Autoblog notes that of the 23 vehicles General Motors touts in TV advertising that achieve 30MPG or better on the highway, 14 fail with the new EPA testing.